Calories are often demonized in popular culture, but the truth is that they are essential to our survival. In fact, without enough calories, our bodies would be unable to function properly. Here’s a quick rundown of calories and why they’re so important.
What Are Calories?
Calories are a measure of energy, specifically the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. When we talk about calories in relation to food, we are referring to the amount of energy that food provides our bodies. Calories are found in all types of food, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Why Your Body Needs Calories
Your body needs calories to perform a wide range of functions, including breathing, circulating blood, and regulating body temperature. In fact, your body generates enough heat in under an hour to boil a half gallon of water. Your body needs calories to power physical activity, from everyday tasks like walking and standing to more strenuous activities like running and lifting weights. If you don’t consume enough calories, your body will begin to break down its own tissues for energy. This can lead to a loss of muscle mass, weakness, and other health problems. Additionally, not getting enough calories can slow down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
How to Get Enough Calories
Getting enough calories is important, but it’s also important to get them from nutritious sources. Aim to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods will provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to function properly. If you are struggling to get enough calories, consider adding in some high-calorie snacks throughout the day. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and nut butters are all good options. Smoothies packed with nutrients and protein can function as decent meal replacements when you’re short on time. Additionally, you can add healthy fats to your meals by cooking with olive oil or avocado oil, or by adding avocado or nuts to your salads.
Calories are essential to our survival and our bodies need them to function properly. Without enough calories, we can experience a range of health problems. However, it’s important to get calories from nutritious sources and to maintain a balanced diet. If you are struggling to get enough calories, try adding some high-calorie snacks or incorporating healthy fats into your meals. With the right approach, you can support your body’s needs and maintain optimal health.
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